Evening- San Francisco hotel room
A radio gives the news that the "grand jury decision not to prosecute Darren Harding over the cop killing of Edward Butler surprised prosecutors and veteran court watchers alike. And now Darren Harding is a free man."
Harding lies in bed with his girlfriend, Janine Kinsey. He congratulates her for her "moving testimony" on the stand, saying without her he wouldn't be there now. She implicates the lawyer as being in on it and coaching her what to say. Darren says happily, "We're out of here, baby." They discuss where they'll go to get away from town. She wants to go to Australia and he to the Big Sky country.
There's a knock on the door, and, expecting room service, Darren gets up to answer it. He opens it to a ski-masked figure carrying a scepter. The man knocks him down and places the burning end of the scepter on Darren's forehead causing him to writhe in pain. The man in black then moves into the hotel room to look to see if anyone else is there. Seeing no one, he then leaves. Janine had hidden behind the drapes when she heard Darren scream, but she did see everything. She runs to Darren and asks what's going on. He struggles up amidst rising mist from the floor and looks at his face in the mirror, sees the burn and asks "what the hell. What is this?"
Out of the cloud of mist, three faceless ghostly figures, covered in long black robes with hoods materialize in the room.They have no faces, just black holes. Amidst his screams, they restrain him and then rip his heart from his chest and disappear. Janine screams in fear.
Hospital morgue sometime after midnight
Francis, with blood on her blue scrub suit, lets Nick in. Nick is wearing jeans and a T-shirt, blue shirt, sweater and a coat. As soon as she unlocks the door, he looks at her and comments, "Francis, you're looking very smart this evening." She reaches up and touches his arm in greeting replying, "You're looking dapper yourself." They walk down the long hall and Francis says they need to do this quickly because it'd be better for everyone if "you're not seen here tonight." Nick with a slight smirk answers, "Everyone except us is dead Francis, and I don't think they're going to tell." She ignores the comment and tells him that in another hour the place will be crawling with reporters and TV people because "this ones bigger than most, It's Darren Harding." Nick, surprised, "The Darren Harding? The one who beat the murder rap yesterday?" Francis, very serious tells Nick that he was killed under unusual circumstances earlier tonight. With another smirk Nick responds, "You know I love unusual circumstances." Francis says, "you'll love these."
They enter the room where the body lies. Its chest is torn open showing a gaping hole and the brand is clearly visible. Nick comments, "Open heart surgery for do-it-yourselfers." She tells him the organ in question has not been recovered, to which Nick says, "Someone's got a hell of a taste in trophies. She comments that judging by the way the tissue is torn and the bone is shattered, most of the damage was done when it was taken out. Nick pulls out an automatic camera and begins shooting pictures of the body as she talks She goes on to say that it takes a tremendous amount of power to inflict a wound like that and a great deal of anger. If she didn't know it happened in a hotel room, she would have thought it was done by a wild animal. Nick sees the brand and comments that Darren was a marked man. "He wasn't wearing that when I saw him on the 6 o'clock news." Francis tells him it's recent but she's unable to determine if it happened before or after his wound. Nick concludes, "I'd say that's the least of his worries."
Control room later that morning
Alex, wearing a white tight lacey long sleeve shirt, puts the photos of the body up on the screen. She comments that the brand is omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet. Nick, wearing a white chamois shirt, and sitting on the desk next to Alex's chair, replies, "The end. It certainly was for Harding." Alex comments that it looks like the symbol is inside a broken circle. Derek walks in and comments, "Because the cycle of pain is broken and justice is done." It's the signature of a Delphic ritual and the oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece. According to ancient legend, the Princess Pythia was called upon to pass judgment on criminals. There were three sisters called the Furies that were called upon. Whoever wore the symbol was the one punished. Alex comments, "Well, it looks like the girls did quite a job on Darren Harding." Nick tells him that someone or something ripped his heart out last night. Derek nods and notes that someone knew the legend. He asks if Detective Carmack contacted them yet. He hadn't but because it just happened, Nick guesses he didn't have the chance. Derek decides he'll save Frank the call because he believes he'll need their help.
Frank Carmack and Jared Tanner, the lawyer for Harding, walk down the hall. They stop under a poster against child abuse and argue. The lawyer had requested protection for Harding after the acquittal and Carmack had refused. Frank simply says, "Freedom's a bitch, ain't it Counselor?." The lawyer threatens litigation but Frank tells him as far as he's concerned, Harding's death was too painless and too quick. He also states that he knows the lawyer helped the girl commit perjury. The lawyer says he was only winning his case for his client and says if Carmack proves anything else he can take him to court." The lawyer then walks away, angry.
Derek comes up to Frank at this point and joins him. They continue walking down the hall to Frank's office. Frank asks what brings him there and why he's there for a slasher killing. Derek tells him he thinks it's more than just a slasher killing and it has supernatural connotations.Carmack asks incredulously how he gets those ideas. Derek evasively replies with a smile, "We have our sources." Carmack says, "Yeah, right. If I had your sources I'd know which highway Jimmy Hoffa was buried under." Derek reminds him supernatural forces didn't kill Jimmy Hoffa.
Frank says that Darren had major league enemies including crime bosses, and drug lords. He tells Derek not to worry because he'll find them. and put him away. Another detective, Grayson, comes in just then and asks "like you did Harding?" Frank tells him to give it a rest but Grayson continues and tells him if it'd been his case, it never would never have gone to trial. Whoever did it did them a favor. Grayson is called away by another detective at that point and leaves Frank's office.
Carmack, sighing, tells Derek as far as the department is concerned, he's a loser because his case didn't hold up. They blame him for the acquittal. Derek offers help but Frank refuses and excuses himself, saying he needs to go close up the crime scene.
As Derek walks down the hall on his way out, his cell phone rings. Alex tells him to come see what she's found.
Legacy control room
She's found an ancient pictorial depiction of three robed and hooded furies about to put the scepter of Pythia on a victim. Derek looks and comments, "Justice in the form of ancient Greece. The sentence has been passed and the furies are about to do their worst." He wonders if they used the scepter on Harding and if so, how they'd know about it and where they got it. Alex tells him that the scepter belongs to the Legacy. "It was ours." Derek is astonished. She goes on to tell him it was stolen a week ago from Nina Andros, who is a PhD that's the curator of the Heritage Museum of Antiquities. She's retired from the Legacy but she had it out on loan from the London house. She displayed it three weeks ago at a symposium. It was the first time that it had been seen in public.
Nick wonders why they went to so much trouble to brand him asking, if you re that close, why not shoot him. Rachel enters and says because did this wasn't looking for a payback, he was looking for ritual justice. He wanted to see the victim suffer. Nick comments that she's describing half of California after yesterday's verdict. Rachel wonders who would have gone this far to rip his heart out, though.
Hotel Room - Crime scene
Rachel and Derek enter. Frank comments that's it nice to see them, but not necessary. They notice there's very little blood and Rachel figures they pulled his heart out so fast there was no time to pump blood. As they look at the scene, Derek asks Frank if he wants to hear his theory. Frank looks at Derek as he leads them to another room, away from the other police while he says, "You mean the kind I can't put in my report? That kind?" He tells Derek that a human being did this and it's his problem, not theirs.
Derek continues anyway, telling Frank that there was a demonic force summoned with an artifact stolen from the Legacy. Frank isn't interested. Rachel tells him she can get a profile of the killer. He tells her no. She asks quizzically why he's turning down their help. "What's wrong?" He replies that he doesn't guarantee he'll buy her theory. Derek asks Frank if anyone was with Harding and he tells them he thinks a woman was there. He doubts a woman could do that though. Derek asks for a copy of the police report and Rachel also wants a copy of the pathologist's report. Commenting that, "You don't ask for much," Frank shakes his head. Rachel replies, "Well, I like to work from the facts."
Kitchen- later that day
Nick comes in as Alex pours herself coffee. He takes some also and she asks him if there's anything new on Harding. Nick replies, "He's still dead" and asks her if she has anything new on Andros. Alex smiles, "She's a goldmine." They sit down at the kitchen table and Alex says she's learned that in order for the scepter to work, the person has to be guilty of something. The Furies then takes not only the heart, but the soul as well. She tells him Andros' topic of the seminar was "Vengeance and Retribution in ancient Greece." Nick says, "Nifty. So the killer attends and gets a crash course. Should be a credit course." Alex smiles tolerantly and continues that it's not that easy because the person using it must also believe in its power. Nick asks if Andros could be a suspect. Alex simply replies that she's about 60 and in a wheelchair. But she hopes to get some more information when Andros faxes the sign-in sheets so they have names to work on.
Tanners law office- that evening
Tanner asks his connection in this and Derek tells him he has interest in solving the murder. Tanner replies that now the case is over, he's got other work to do. Harding is dead; there's no case and no retainer means no money is being paid so he's moved on. Derek asks about threats and the lawyer says there were all sorts of threats, calls as well as crackpot letters but they ignored them. Derek shows him a picture of the body with the brand and asks if he saw that symbol in any of the letters. Tanner denies it. He then gets up and disparagingly comments that Harding is dead. He was so young had so much to live for, "Just think of all the mayhem he still could have caused." When Derek notes that Tanner didn't like him, Tanner replies that he paid his bills and was high profile which made him the best kind of client. Derek comments that Harding definitely wouldn't be the kind of person to share a couple bottles of Dom Perignon. Tanner tells him that Darren hated the bubbly but Janine, his girlfriend loved it. Derek asks where she is now and Tanner says he advised them to leave town and take a long vacation. Derek comments, "I guess they should have taken an earlier flight, huh?" Derek leaves his card for Tanner to call him if he needs to and Tanner prepares to get back to work.
Nick, who's been waiting outside, meets Derek and updates him, telling him the cops found evidence there really was a girl with Harding that night. Derek fills him in on what he learned about Janine Kinsey and asks him to see if he can find her. Nick says he'll check the passport office and travel agency to see what it turns up.
Rachel talks to Frank who tells her it's a payback, pure and simple. She questions why the bizarre manner of death then. Frank replies he's seen hit men but there is nothing supernatural about this. He simply got what was coming to him. He also adds that she and Derek tend to look too hard.
Rachel begs him to listen to her and wonders aloud if Grayson could have been involved. Frank denies that and tells her the lawyer coached girl friend to lie. Grayson didn't kill Harding. Rachel, watching him carefully, asks if he's sure. "Would you protect him?" He looks at her and then hands her a copy of the autopsy report, saying, "Sweet dreams." He comments she'd have made a hell of an attorney. As Rachel leaves, she turns and smiles, saying, "Coming from you Frank, that's pretty nasty."
Tanner's law office late at night
Preparing to leave, Tanner gets a gun from the drawer. As he gets outside his office door, the ski-masked figure with a scepter grabs him and brands his forehead. Tanner fires one shot at the fleeing figure before he retreats back inside his office. A mist rises from the floor and the three Furies appear and grab him. He screams and fires at them three times.
Derek's Office - evening
Rachel sits at the table drinking coffee and tells Derek she's found nothing on the pathology reports. She goes to say they aren't directly dealing with a killer, rather a facilitator, someone who's orchestrating the killings. "We're looking for someone with a really twisted sense of justice. Someone frustrated and angry and meticulous enough to carry on a ritual." The facilitator really wanted to see the victims suffer before they died.
She adds that Frank's behavior is concerning her since she's never seen him like this. It's very out of character for him. Derek, worried, asks her if she has any friends on the police review board. Someone who would give her access to internal files. She tells him she'll pull in some favors and asks Derek if he thinks its Grayson. Derek replies that they can't rule out anyone.
Legacy living room that evening
Derek and Rachel join Alex in the living room where she sits with a laptop computer. She tells them she spoke with Nina Andros, who told her that only a believer could be familiar enough with the rituals to use the scepter. Nina has sent the sign-in sheets, which have 200 names and she's been checking on them. Derek adds, "The sooner the better."
Motel room outskirts of San Francisco - evening
Janine Kinsey nervously unpacks a bag. She sees a shadow cross in front of the curtained front window and takes a gun from the bag. As she gets to the front door with the gun, she hears Nick's voice behind her and jumps around to face him. They stand there facing each other with their guns aimed at each other. Nick very calmly says, "You won't be needing that, Janine. Now you've shown me yours and I've shown you mine. I'd say we're about even." He continues speaking softly and reassuringly that he's not there to hurt her. She puts the gun down. He does the same and tells her "You left the back window open." Shocked, she replies, "No, I didn't." With a smile, Nick replies, "That's why it was so tough to get in here."
Janine asks how he found her and "How'd you find me?" He answers, "One way ticket down under, paid for in cash, first direct flight out of town. Courier delivered to a 30 dollar motel room in the boonies." He adds that Sydney is not far enough away and that the killer is chasing her. Incredulous, she demands, "You're not a cop. Who are you and what do you want from me?" Nick tells her he wants to save her life and that whatever killed Darren is still out there and killed again.
Introspective, she remembers and says there were three of them. They were dark and horrible. Nick asks her if there was anyone else there and she tells him about the man dressed in black. He had come in first and branded Darren, "then those things came." She tells him she ran because she was afraid the cops would think she did it. She asks simply, "So. What are you going to do?"
Legacy house - evening
Derek's cell phone rings. It's Nick telling him he's there with Janine Kinsey who has a story he thinks Derek should hear. In the motel room, Nick hands her the cell phone and reassures her it's OK to talk to him. Derek tells her they know she was there as well as what happened and that the police can't protect her. He tells her they know how frightened she must be and that only they can protect her. Nick takes the phone back and tells Derek they're an hour out and he's bringing her in.
Alex comes up and tells Derek the lawyer is now dead, murdered the same way, found an hour ago.
Outside motel room
As they head towards Nick's mustang, Janine asks who they really are. He replies, "right now we're your best friends." He tells her the best she can do is cooperate with them. When she goes on and asks how they can protect her if the police can't, Nick tells her this isn't the time. She argues that she has a one-way ticket to Australia as well as cash, then looks away from Nick and screams as a black hooded man carrying a bar pops up. Janine runs. Nick immediately draws his gun and aims at the man saying "Drop the bar." He does and puts his hands up. The man tries to explain that "It's a 64 'stang man, its cherry. I couldn't resist." Nick scoffs, "It's a 65 meathead, now move on." The man takes off running.
Nick runs after Janine. She screams as she gets behind the motel as she face to face with the man dressed in black with the scepter. Nick comes up then and shoves her out of the way. He immediately engages in hand-to-hand combat with him. During the fight, he's struck by the burning hot scepter. The man then turns and runs away. Suddenly mist rises from the ground and Janine, shocky now, whimpers that "it's happening again. Just like last time."
The three Furies come, grab Nick and hold him against the wall. Nick, looking terrified, struggles futilely against the Furies. One of them reaches for his chest with long ghostly wrinkled fingers and tears opens the cloth, exposing his chest. She then hesitates and stops. The Fury backs away from Nick and the others let go of him and they all disappear howling and screeching. Shocked, Nick sinks down to the ground, breathing heavily.
Nick sits in a chair beside Rachel who sits on the desk. He has his burned hand on her knee as she tends the burn wound. As he watches, he tells them that "They didn't kill me but they sure as hell scared about 5 years off my life. Don't know why they let me slide." Rachel, looking intently at the wound while she sprays it with disinfectant and pain relievers suggest maybe the brand wasn't deep enough and comments that his burn is "pretty superficial." Derek, leaning on Nick's chair and watching this, suggests, "or maybe justice isn't blind. You weren't the intended victim. You weren't guilty of anything." Rachel replies playfully, "Or maybe they just don't know you well enough." Nick grins and quickly replies, "Thanks Rachel. I love you too." Derek smiles indulgently and moves away from the two of them. As Rachel begins to wrap a bandage around his hand, she continues coyly, "Hey, Look on the bright side. You'd be the only guy on the block with a tattoo from hell. At least till it heals." Giving up, Nick looks to Derek and says, "Listen to her." Derek smirks gently.
Rachel asks how Janine is doing. Nick says she's downstairs with Alex and she's still a little bit freaked. Derek then begins to question Nick, asking, "Did you get a look at the man with the scepter?" He replies that his face was covered and it was a big guy with a heavy build. Derek asks if he could have been wearing a bulletproof vest. Nick thinking, replies, "Yeah, I guess. All dressed in black, loose clothing. Why?" Derek tells him the police found that Tanner had fired 4 shots but they found only three slugs. Perhaps the man carried one away in a Kevlar vest like the cops wear. They all look at each other, thinking.
Alex gets up and moves away from Janine over to Derek when he comes in by himself. Derek looks over at Janine and asks Alex how she's doing, Alex replies that she's coming out of shock, but she's scared. She adds, "She's pretty tough." Derek says softly, "Let's hope she's smart." Alex leaves them alone.
Derek goes to Janine and introduces himself. He adds that she's already met Alex and "of course, you know Nick." She responds that Nick saved her life. Derek agrees and tells her they need her help and tells her Tanner is dead. He was killed the same way as Harding, with his heart torn out. "Nick saved your life once, but I don't know if he keep saving you." He tells her that Tanner conspired to get Harding off the murder charge and that she's guilty of conspiracy because she lied on the stand. Although she denies it, Derek continues and reminds her first Harding now Tanner, "Who do you is going to be next?" Frightened, she asks how she can stop it. He tells her that whoever killed them wants the truth to come out. He tells her she has to go to the police. Derek adds that if she tells them everything, she may get off lightly. Then ominously, he adds "But, the alternative well you've already seen the alternative. What's it going to be?"
Library that night
Rachel comes in and updates Derek telling him that Grayson's file showed he'd been called for review several times. He had an extremely violent temper and spent a couple years studying cult behavior, where he could have learned about mythology. He could be their man except for one thing. He'd also been censored for sloppy police work and taking bribes. Therefore, he really didn't fit the profile. Derek, looking at her intently asks, "Who does fit the profile?" Rachel tells him that it has to be a person that is extremely meticulous, even rigid, with a deeply developed sense of justice. She tells him she's waiting for another report from the review board. Then Derek tells her he's not interested in the review board's opinion, "I want yours Rachel. What does your gut tell you?" She replies simply, "My gut says the same as yours, Derek. You know the answer."
Derek's office that night
Derek calls Frank Carmack and tells him, "She agreed to tell you everything, Frank." He adds that she wants immunity. She needs about 2 hours to pull herself together. He gives the address of a motel at 7289 Galveston. When Frank asks how he convinced her, Derek explains he appealed to her sense of morality or explained she could take her chances out there.
Derek adds that Frank had made her nervous at the trial and she wants Grayson to pick her up. He asks Frank if that would be a problem. Frank agrees and says there's no problem, if this sticks it gives him a second chance. "I owe you." Derek signs off the phone saying; "Good luck. And, let me know what happens."
Control room that night
Alex has the sign-in sheets displayed on the overhead monitor. Nick looks at all the names and offers, "You run a symposium on vengeance and the whole world shows up." Rachel asks who are they are. Alex explains that the list contains curators, collectors, and even some Legacy members. But nothing really stands out. Derek tells Alex to do a handwriting analysis and compare for matches with some material from Grayson's file that has a signature. He's looking for a match. He directs her that if the first file doesn't give a match to try the second one. It's the record of another police officer. He says sadly, "I suspect we're going to meet one tonight."
Driving in 4 x 4 that night
Nick drives. Derek asks Nick how his hand is feeling. Nick replies it's not too bad and he can still shoot. Derek replies, "Let's hope it won't be necessary." Nick then comments that "It's been quite an evening. Not many guys can say they had a date with three sisters in one night." Derek replies, "Make sure you live to tell about it." Nick agrees.
Trying to reassure Derek, Nick says that they don't know it's a cop. And it could be Grayson; he's the same size. Derek sadly says, "So is Carmack." Nick replies, "He's a friend." Derek adds, "A good one."
Grayson's handwriting is not a match. Rachel says, "you think you know a person," and hands Alex the file on Carmack's and asks how fast she can run it. Alex replies, "fast." In a few seconds, the computer gives Carmack's signature a 97% probability for matching.
Driving in 4 x 4
On the cell phone, Rachel tells Derek that Frank moved to San Francisco 17 years ago from Wisconsin. He had harassed a suspect there after his partner died in an ambush. He was disciplined and simply quit and moved to San Francisco and joined the SFPD. He got into an altercation with Grayson and had to go into a psychiatric evaluation because of it. The results were marginal, he barely passed.
Derek is shaken by that news before asking Alex what she found. She tells him Carmack signed in as Dr. Jack Palmer from the Natural History Museum. She checked and there is a real one but he wasn't at the seminar. She reassures Derek that the matches aren't 100% accurate though. Rachel tells Derek she's sorry. He replies, very depressed, "Me too."
After he hangs up the phone, Nick reassures him that handwriting isn't 100% accurate. Derek replies he'd like to believe that, but whatever happens it's paramount they recover the scepter.
A man dressed in dark, loose fitting clothing with a black ski mask sneaks in the darkened room by flashlight. He also carries the glowing lit specter. He sees a person in a chair with a towel over their head. As he gets to the chair, he says, "Hello, Janine." At that point, Nick jumps up with his gun drawn saying, "Hold it. Lets take a moment to reflect upon this situation before anyone gets hurt." Derek exits from the closet and says, "Frank, it's finished."
Frank reaches up and pulls off his hood and says, "You can put it away, Nick." Nick ignores this and keeps the gun on him. Frank looks at Derek saying, "You wouldn't want to see your partner shoot a cop would you, Derek?" Derek reaches for the specter telling Frank to give it to him. Frank replies that he said he owes him and he meant it. "I'd lost my faith in everything. Justice, God, even myself. But you gave it back to me when you showed me your world and saw that justice was possible again. That there was a way." Derek responds, "But not this way."
Nick with his gun still steadily aimed at him asks, "What are you going to do. Kill us too?"
Frank replies he only kills those that deserve to die. Derek tells him that what he did wasn't justice, it was murder. Frank says he just wanted to make it right. Derek trying to convince him says, "I know, you still can, but you have to stop this now." He asks for the scepter and reaches for it. Frank, with great sadness in his voice, replies, "I know," and puts the glowing scepter on his own hand. Derek screams, "No!"
The black mist immediately appears and 2 of the Sirens grab Derek and Nick to restrain them as the third heads towards Frank. Derek begs him to renounce the power and to save himself. Frank replies as the Siren advances towards him, "I couldn't even if I wanted to, because I do believe. This is going to be one hell of a show Derek."
Just then the Fury reaches him. Derek looks aghast despite the fact that one of the Furies still restrains him. Frank looks into the third Fury's "face" and sees the twisting-turning bowels of hell. It takes Frank's heart and then they all disappear. Derek glances at Nick to be sure he's OK. Then, incredibly shaken, Derek moves to Frank's body. He reaches down and closes the eyes, whispering, "Frank."
Looking very depressed, Derek prepares to put the scepter in it's wooden box. Rachel reminds him that he shouldn't blame himself because the decision was Frank's to make. Derek tells her he should have kept Frank out of their business and affairs but he didn't "and that was my decision."
"All Frank Carmack desired in the end was to see justice done. A noble desire.
But entrusted with great powers, how many of us can resist using them for our own ends?
How long can any of us maintain that strength?"